Meraki MX is a small business product and lacks a lot of features compared to Sophos XG/XGS. - IPsec IKEv2 does not work (it is in the menu, but does not work and can only be enabled by meraki support)
- no SSLVPN or IPsec VPN client. AnyConnect can only be tested with beta firmware. Cisco Client VPN (L2TP) is a total joke - not sure for who it is meant for?
- no user based firewall rules (for VPN)
- no firewall rule grouping
- no masquerade option for DNAT (sometimes it is very useful if I can do a DNAT with masquerade to another subnet)
- no VLAN tagging support on WAN port (would be usable for IPTV - solvable if WAN is bypassed through a managed switch)
- no multiple IP support on WAN port (Sophos has alias support on every interface, which means that multiple IP addresses can be added on the same LAN or WAN port)
- no LAG or LACP support (would be usable to connect aggregation switch to firewall to bypass more traffic through the MX)
- no DAC cable support for SFP port (why I do have to use optical cable to connect aswitch?)
- no custom IPS policies - only on/off button
- no e-mail protection option (Sophos has it with extra license)
- no web server protection (Sophos has it with extra license)
- no sandstorm option (most firewalls have it with extra license)
- hardware may probably too weak compared to the user count
- no BGP, OSPF routing
- no multiple VPN user groups and LDAP servers
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports network security and firewall options. We researched both Meraki and ASA. We liked that ASA provides a solid VPN setup and integrates with other Cisco security offerings.
Cisco ASA is great for routing and accessing remote office locations via the remote VPN. We also liked the high availability and customizable nating (Network Access Translation). It is very reliable and easy to use. You can easily configure a site-to-site VPN to connect multiple sites. The support is great - they respond 24/7/365 and there is a lot of documentation available.
The downside is that ASAs are aging. Therefore, Cisco ASAs are best suited to small businesses. If you need something affordable that gets the job done, ASA is a good option.
We chose Cisco Meraki, because, in our opinion, it is a step forward from ASA. The level of security and intrusion detection is great, and because it is cloud-based, it is easy to change the configuration without downtime. Logging is very comprehensive, and management is very simple.
The best feature is content filtering with granular control. Cisco Meraki offers advanced malware protection, including traffic shaping. Another feature we really like is that you can pre-configure devices before they arrive at the installation.
It doesn’t work with DMVPN, which is a downside. Another feature that could use some improvement is reporting, which is not real-time. The price can get expensive but if you can afford it, a full-stack Cisco Meraki system does a great job keeping your network secure.
If you want a robust but basic firewall, ASA is your best choice. Cisco Meraki is a better choice if you are looking for a next-generation firewall with advanced security features and easy management.
Meraki is designed for zero deployments and no in-house firewall specialist personnel. Best to secure Networks like remote offices, branches or home offices. Also to protect Internet Access (your computer accesses the internet).
Cisco ASA is more of a professional firewall, not only protecting internet access but also providing security for publishing services like web servers, data centers, central services. They will need a specialist to install and support them. Therefore offer much more sophisticated protection features.
So you can't really compare these solutions, as they are targeting different markets.
You might compare Cisco to Sophos, but again, these are different protection solutions, one for network protection, the other for client protection. If you look only at the firewall part, you miss a lot in the total protection approach with Sophos.